Snowpack 2019 and Avalanche News Feature

Trail Tip Tuesday – SNOWPACK and AVALANCHE NEWS FEATURE – May 28, 2019. Unusual winter-like conditions still exist along much of The Colorado Trail. Another snowstorm came through last week and temperatures remain unusually cool, slowing the snow melt. The CT segments we consider snow passable are still (only) Segments 1, 2, 3, 5, and 14.

In Elk Creek, CT Segment 24, the Trail (foreground) disappears beneath avalanche debris maybe 30 feet high.

In Elk Creek, CT Segment 24, the Trail (foreground) disappears beneath avalanche debris maybe 30 feet high.

Avalanches, more numerous and larger this year, have buried short stretches of the Trail. Adopter volunteer Connie Wian wrote, “I had to see it myself, so I hiked part way up Elk Creek yesterday. You really need to see this. It is unbelievable and overwhelming! My best estimate is that those 3 debris piles are each at least 30 feet deep and 50 to 60 yards wide across the trail. One has lots of dirt and rocks. The others had lots of large trees stacked on each other. On foot it is possible to climb over these big piles, but it is not easy or completely safe. I don’t think horses would like it at all.”

Connie’s adoption is deep in the Weminuche Wilderness Area above Silverton, CT Segment 24, and it has the worst avalanche problems we’ve learned of so far. It might take our volunteers multiple trail seasons to improve this.

Still, we remain upbeat about the 2019 trail season and all the adventure that’s waiting along The Colorado Trail. A TV 9news interview with Bill Manning, the CTF executive director, appears here.